During President Donald Trump’s first full month in office, the Black unemployment rate rose as the white unemployment rate fell, according to the latest jobs report.
Key employment indicators show that Black workers lost ground in February. The unemployment rate for Black workers increased from 7.7 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February.
The labor force participation rate, which is the share of the population that is employed or looking for work, ticked down from 62.4 percent to 62.3 percent in February.
The employment-population ratio, which is the share of the population that has jobs, also declined for Black workers from 57.5 percent to 57.3 percent in February.
The white unemployment rate inched closer to 4 percent, decreasing from 4.3 percent in January to 4.1 percent in February.
The jobless rate for white men 20 and over dipped below 4 percent in February (3.8 percent). The unemployment rate for white women 20 and over decreased from 3.9 percent in January to 3.7 percent in February.
Black men fared worse than other adult groups in the job market last month.
The unemployment rate for Black men over 20 increased from 7.3 percent in January to 7.8 percent in February.
Not only did the unemployment rate for both Black men and women 20 and over move in the opposite direction to their white counterparts, the share of Black men and women who looked for jobs and found work decreased from January to February.
Before his inauguration in January, Trump often questioned the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, but when the latest report was released, White House officials expressed their enthusiasm about the results.
During the press briefing after February’s jobs report was released, Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked if Trump believed that the report was accurate.
Spicer answered, “[President Trump] said to quote him very clearly, ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.’”
In a statement about the February’s jobs report, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said that Trump inherited a growing economy from his predecessor.